Understanding Cacti and Succulents
Succulents and cacti are not all the same but all cacti are succulents. You can have a succulent which is not a cactus. Succulents are able to store great amounts of moisture. A popular example of a succulent is aloe vera. Read more about
To distinguish between cacti and other succulents, look for areoles which are structures that look like cushions where branches, leaves, spines, hair, and flowers emanate from. Even if a plant looks so much like a cactus but does not have these circular areoles, then it does not belong to the cactus family.
While succulents grow in many parts of the world, cacti only thrive in certain places. The varieties of cacti and succulents are survivors. Predators and pets don't like to eat succulents because their skin is tough. The reason for their survival in a very dry environment is due to their high water content in their leaves, stem, and roots. Their thorny spines is their best defense.
It is quite difficult to choose cactus because there are many varieties to choose from.
You can find giant spined cactus which can grow as high as 50 feet. Or you can buy a rosette tiny enough to fit in a thimble. The way you pot your cactus or succulent will affect their survival or failure. More on this site
A pot made of clay with a hole for drainage is the best pot for a cactus or succulent. The width of the pot should be half the height of the plant. Use hot water and soap to scrub your clay pot when cleaning. It is important to cover the hole for drainage and the best way to cover it is by putting broken pieces of pottery.
Cacti and succulents grow very slowly. If you want to display your cacti collection the best is to put it near a sunny window and make it like a scene in the desert.
Never water your repotted succulent or cactus right away. The watering should be done after about a week. Don’t soak the soil but just dampen it.
Restraint is important when watering cacti. Cacti is mostly made of water. One way of knowing that they need water is by looking closely at the plant. Check if they are plump which indicates large water content. Wet your cactus thoroughly if they seem wrinkled and remove standing water without letting them drain through.
If you are interested in having cacti and succulents, you can find many online stores where you can have them delivered to your home. You can buy single plants in pots or many plants in an elaborate arrangement. You can add these succulents and cacti if you already have an existing collection. If you don’t have these plants at home, then you should try having them. If you have a special friend, then you can give her a potted cactus plant on her birthday or any special occasion.